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Off Notes: A Magical Combination

Happy Friday!

Some of our all-time favorite musical combinations come from artists referencing their idols or putting songs and styles they love into their own musical voice. This week we found remixes and covers all over the web, resulting in genre-bending collaborations that have turned music we thought we knew into something else entirely. Check out Guns N’ Roses played on the guzheng, a soulful and twangy “Summer of ’69”, Lorde sung by a sad clown, and so much more. Read on and enjoy your weekend!

The best of the musical internet this week

“Ed O’Brien: Thom [Yorke]’s problem with Pablo Honey and The Bends was that neither of those albums had resulted in jail time for the band. I don’t know why he wanted us all to go to jail, but he was very insistent that we should all spend 20 to 30 years in jail to be considered a real band.” [Clickhole]

  • Forbes has a great article uncovering music industry’s latest bet: the big three record labels — Warner, Universal, and Sony — are staking serious claims in every major digital music startup you can name. The labels have invested up to 20% of their net worth in companies like Spotify, Rdio, SoundCloud, and Shazam. [Forbes]
  • Fans of Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will know that it’s nearly impossible to stop singing “they alive, dammit!” under your breath after watching the show. Turns out, the theme was designed that way. Composer (and Tina-Fey-husband) Jeff Richmond worked with the brothers responsible for viral hit “Bedroom Intruder” to remix the theme! [Vanity Fair]
  • A medley of classic Disney songs sung with the smooth stylings of ’90s R&B…
  • Twelve years ago, alt-country rocker Ryan Adams aggressively kicked a heckler out of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for shouting requests for Bryan Adam’s classic “Summer of ’69”. Turns out R. Adams never truly let go of the incident, and on Tuesday, offered an olive branch a decade in the making. Watch his cover of “Summer of ’69” here. [Rolling Stone]
  • Roadtrippers just tipped us off to a cave in Virginia where, in 1954, a mathematician hooked up an organ to tiny mallets that tap different stalactites, each filed down so that the tapping creates a resonant tone matching the note played. It was repaired back in the late ’90s and is expected to stay in tune for the next thousand years. I’ll go get the car started…
  • Q2 Music is a great podcast, very deserving of your Kickstarter contributions. But if supporting independent radio isn’t a strong enough pull, perhaps this perk will move you: t-shirts featuring modern classical composers getting the indie rockstar treatment. [WQXR and Kickstarter]

q2 music t-shirts

  • Did you read our post on the future of jazz? Our take is that for jazz to survive, new artists have to embrace the waining genre and put jazz in their own voice.
  • Here’s a video of a very creepy sad clown beautifully covering Lorde’s “Royals” in the style of ’20s jazz:
  • Those who enjoy a remix should check out The Drop. Every day new electronic songs (everything from EDM to trance, mashups to nu-disco), are submitted to the site and are up or down voted so that by the afternoon, the best songs of the day are sitting on top, waiting for you to discover them! [The Drop]

This last one is undoubtably a stretch. It’s sneaking in to this week’s theme by virtue of its title — “A Magical Combination”. It is neither a cover, nor a remix, but I hope you will agree that a song chronicling the adventures of cats dressed as sushi does make for a truly magical combination. Enjoy the weekend!

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Zoë Young
Zoë Young

Zoë is an internet enthusiast and writer who wants to empower everyone to find the knowledge they need to pursue their dreams through the magic of the internet. When not working on web tools and articles to support the Soundfly community, Zoë cooks up a storm and plots ways to recapture her former glory as a third grade recorder soloist. Follow her @parsnipsbk.